Monday, April 30, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Cazzie asked about the sites I used to re-teach myself to crochet. Crochet Cabana is the one I found most helpful for Granny Squares. (scroll down until you see Granny Squares in one of those boxes on the left - kind of a confusing web page layout IMO) But I thought they were kinda sucky for the single and double crochet stuff because they don't show you the first row. They still show you how to make the stitches just fine, but I'm one of those "Show me everything, Dammit!" people. Needless to say, Origami instructions are not my cup of tea. ( 1- flat piece of paper, 2- now it's folded in half 3- a bunch of curvy arrows "showing" you what to do and now it looks like a swan) For the stitch refreshers, I preferred some random pages I found at About.com. (which, of course, I can't re-find.) I see now, though, that you can type just about any crochet stitch into YouTube and get a video showing you just how to do it. Cool! (I'm a very visual person.)
And this is the buckeye recipe I use. There are lots of other yummy things there, too. ^_^
~MuNKi* got a new Kitchen Aid mixer (if you're thinking of doing this, the Sam's (or Costco's) exclusive is a great deal) because he was going to kill the old one with all the heavy-duty bread making. The new one is rather large. I can now make 480 cookies at a time if I so choose.
~I bought paint for the front door yesterday. It's green. Very green.
~I feel inclined to plant a shrubbery. Perhaps with a path (a path!) Or at least to purchase several shrubs. Preferably flowering ones.
*no, I have no idea either, but there are apparently a lot of people involved with this.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Flowers are blooming, plants are growing. I bought new Rosemary (old Rosemary RIP) and Basil, and discovered that my Thyme is still alive and kicking. I have pics to take, pics to post and links to uh, case? (I never sausage a terrible pun before.)
Oh and a buckeye recipe to post. Poo.
But first I must finish the things I'm creating for Mollusc's 12th birthday tomorrow.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Say the words "crochet" or "knit" and I bet the things that come into your mind are words like "doily" or "antimacassar," "frumpy," and "Grandma."
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Whether it's a knit edible V-string, a skull afghan, or your own Weasley sweater, the yarnier arts have come a long way.
There are books for sexy knits and already made crocheted bra and panty sets.
Mmmm! Bacon and eggs (see sidebar there.)
Got Goth? (More Bacon? ^_^)
Or maybe a digestive tract is more up your, uh, alley.
And I defy you to tell me that this screams Grandma. If it does, you may want to go home and rethink your life.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I have another post dying to get out, but it doesn't go well with this. It involves crocheting, knitting, and raciness, so stay tuned. ^_^
Ooooh, I was able to do my kicks standing up tonight and produce a respectable amount of real sweat. Yay!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The other day I was giggling to myself about some packaging I'd seen. It was a scrapping kit with, among other things, rubber stamps, and was labeled in several languages, including French. The first time I picked up the package, I was a bit startled to see that tampons were included with the art supplies. I mean, who knew that menstruation and artistic streaks went hand-in-hand? It certainly makes me rethink the possible meaning of Picasso's "Blue Period." And the phrase "painting the town red."
Looking for a picture of a similar package brought me to, among other things, The Vulva Museum. And then there was this. Because everyone wants a bajingo with sass. Or maybe it makes you feel better to read something that helps you feel sassy right before you shove this cotton wadding up your hoo-ha. Do you think the Super Ditties have really great messages, and the Regulars are just ho-him?
In addition to these amazing finds, I discovered that you can buy Tampon Cozies. They come in the ubercharming Uterus and Banana motifs.
You can also avail yourself of a Tampon Doll in case you find that you need a very up close and personal experience. (well, I guess all tampons are up close and personal) You could name it Prince Charles.
And, OK, I'll share one more link.
All right, that's all. I think I got a little too absorbed in this tangent.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Prawn: Hey, everyone besides me got a cherry!
*Oops! I give her a cherry*
Prawn: Uh, I didn't want a cherry. ^_^
Does anyone else sense a chocolate theme developing?
Courtesy of Mollusc
Because with a name like that, how could we not buy it?
Cue the Psycho theme.
Too bad it didn't last longer, because these were pretty.
Microscope lab time -- it's hard to wait when you're little.
Can we draw it?
Yes we can!
Uh, I think so.
Prawn retched so hard, she burst a capillary in her eye. She freaked out when she saw it, poor girl.
MuNKi took a cinnamon roll class.
I think I shall encourage him to take more! ^_^
Thursday, April 12, 2007
But in the back of my mind, for almost 30 years now (cringe), I've also felt that, ultimately, I couldn't let the yarn win. So tonight I made my first Granny square. It took several different web pages of instructions, but I did it. And it really wasn't all that hard.
I also uploaded a bunch of pics tonight that I'd been putting off cropping and uploading, so tomorrow should finally be a photo-heavy post.
This afternoon I finished Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife (yes, I cried) and I started The Colour of Magic. (My library even has the proper English version -- hooray!) I'm about a third of the way through. It's very amusing. I've bought other Discworld books but then put off reading them for fear of wrecking them by not doing them in the right order. Now I've got my hands on #1 there's no stopping me.
I know that Wednesday is supposed to be Anti-Procrastination Day, but I guess I put it all off until today. ^_^
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
- I continue to heal. I can sometimes go upstairs one foot after the other! Woo hoo! (this is big)
- I finally got to do class again tonight as best I could.
- The Prawn is, at long last, over a week-long fever (you know - THAT one that's been going around) and is down to just hacking the odd lung out every now and then.
- I made chocolate chip cookies today. (in case being rather more sedentary hasn't been quite bad enough for me)
- The kids and I cleaned out some bookshelves and found some books to get rid of. We also unearthed some real winners that haven't been read for a while. One of them was Thundercake. Patricia Polacco is one of my favourite children's authors, and Thundercake is one of my favourite books of hers. Her stories are doubly entertaining if you happen to be a Michigander (or Michigoose) or a Californian (and of course we have been both), since many of her books deal with her childhood in these states.
- I'm about 2/3 of the way through Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, which, as it turns out, is largely sex and angst with a side of scandal.
- Talking cats amuse me. I have one that says "Hello?" when she's very upset (ie in the car.)
Monday, April 09, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
For those of you who have already BTDT, I give you this treat:
And one of my very favourite Monty Python sketches:
And one of my favourite Fry and Lauries:
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I got an acceptance letter from an editor today. One of my tawdry stories will be in a book.
I have invented the anal bead rosary. Brilliant, eh? Anyone want to help me patent it? ^_^
My short posts do much better than my long ones, so I'll leave it at that.
After our 70-some degree Tuesday, we had snow yesterday. There's still a dusting of it out there. Jack Frost can bite me. To quote Morticia Addams (upon turning the page in The Cat in the Hat) "Oh no. He lives."
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
But I can no longer keep silent.
TG, I think you, at least, will truly appreciate this one.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Instructions: Look at the list of books below.
• Bold the ones you’ve read.
• Italicise the ones you want to
• Don't do anything to the ones that you aren’t interested in.
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) - really enjoyed it, but wish we'd had the illustrated version at the time.
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) - LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it! This is one of a few books I wish I could read for the First Time again.
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) - twice - once for school, again to see if it was worth the fuss and found it to be more than worth it. This one improves with age, IMO. (the reader's age that is)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) - should I? Maybe simply because it breaks my bold streak. ^_^
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) - several times. Why are these out of order?
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) - ditto
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) - ditto ditto
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) - see how it's half bold? That's cuz I got about halfway through this book. OMG I want to KILL Anne! She's such a freaking goody-goody. Even this girl I know, who is lovely and charming, and very very very fundamentalist, thinks she's too much of a goody-goody. I mean, that's really saying something, isn't it? I will probably finish it someday, because it's hard for me to leave a book unfinished no matter how sucky it is, but I'll probably be grinding my teeth the whole time.
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) - Y'all have seen me prattling on about reading these. Who made this list, anyway? And why are there so many I've read? I thought I was a book reader, like TG. (and not so much a Book reader)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) - on my shelf, waiting patiently. I suspect it mught turn out to be a Book, though.
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) - Like there are people out there who haven't. OK, there are. I even know some. But I love these books. They are SO much better than the films.
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) - I really enjoyed this one, too. Both are a departure from my normal sort of reading. I think.
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling) - my least fave of the HPs, I'd say, but still worth the read. I like Mrs. Weasley. I think I cried when she was seeing the Boggart as Dead Harry. (motherhood can do that to you)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King) - I think this is the only King I've ever read. Probably the only King I'm likely to read. I read it mostly cuz I'd seen the mini, and, OK, was enamoured with erm - that guy from Forrest Gump - or his character.
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) - My first Tolkien. I discovered it for myself (I believe) after reading the Narnia books. No one else in my family was into Fantasy/Sci Fi, so I had to sniff them all out on my own.
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) - sadly, twice. Once for school, once again as an adult to see if it really had a point after all. It didn't. I want my wasted hours back. Now! My sincere opinion on this book: high school teachers assign this because they think the swearing will make them look cool to their students. There isn't any other point to this book at all. No, that's not true. It would be great kindling.
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) - but not til I was an adult. I cried. (imagine!)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) - sounds depressing
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) - I *think* I will. Then again, it's awfully popular, so maybe I won't. I read the other popular ones before I found out they were popular. ^_^
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) - well duh. Yes, where ARE the others on this list? I've read them all, as well as the Dirk Gentlys and Last Chance to See (nonfiction) and am about three quarters of the way through Salmon of Doubt. I can't bring myself to finish it. Because that is all. Ever. You know? I will finish it someday. But I'm rationing. So far I've made it last about 3.5 years. The highly amusing Biscuit Story is contained therein.
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) - O.M.G. I want to reach into the story and STRANGLE - uh - whatsername. What an idiot. I listened to this on tape while hand-sewing a tree skirt for my mom and dad. I hope the tree skirt isn't full of frustration and angst and withering hatred because of this. :-P
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) - my illustrious cousin introduced me to thses by sending the boxed set to us in Hong Kong. My first encounter with fantasy. It became a lasting obsession. Thank you, Ronnie. Years later, at his house, my sister and I were dispatched (or allowed) upstairs to read while the adults talked and we found countless books about all manner of fascinating sexual things. His wife at the time was a psychologist and is now, I believe, playing for the other team, so there really were some highly intriguing books on the shelves. Upon being called down at the evenong's end, we pretended (red-faced) to be highly excited about their having the hardback versions of the Narnia books up there. ^_^
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) - I hate John Steinbeck. I hate Lenny, the murdering bastard.
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) - *might* read it. I understand that Mitch loves himself very much. This makes me disinclined to read his book, though I hear it's interesting and does not flaunt Mitch's self-obsession, so maybe. . .
31. Dune (Frank Herbert) - several times. I love it! It's odd, because the writing can be less than stellar. I can't count how many times he uses the phrase "tried to swallow in a dry throat." But the plot is fantastic and the story well-constructed. One of my favourite books. I like the first 3 of the series best.
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) - another of my faves. I made MuNKi read it and it's one of his faves, too. One of our children is named after a character in this book. Don't read it before The Fountainhead. It's her crowning masterpiece. I read my old one to bits (literally.) It's funny, because, going back and looking at it objectively (objectivistly? ^_^) the writing can be (dare I say?) kind of stilted at times. But what a great story. And what great ideas. I remember thinking after finishing it that if I had read this before college, I would have failed nearly every class (kendo would have been fine), because I would have been honest about what I thought, and would have felt compelled to give my own, original answers rather than regurgitating what I knew would (and did) get me 'A's. Life-changing, for me, after attending a liberal-arts university.
34. 1984 (Orwell) - In 1984 no less. Found it fascinating. Goes well with Atlas. Cringe-making to see so much of it (and Atlas) coming true. :-P
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) - YUMMY! I love this book! I have the prequel waiting in the wings.
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) - I guess i'll try to learn more about this.
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) - really enjoyed this one, didn't keep it, find myself often wishing I had.
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) - had this on the shelf for a while courtesy of MILand a garage sale, I think, but no. The cover art put me off, as did images of - um - the "10" chick? (OMG yes I DID judge the book by its cover)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) - interesting. Disturbing.
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) - had it from the library, never got around to it. See "Tuesday's With Morrie."
45. Bible - a few times in different versions. It's very X-rated, which I find ironic and amusing these days. Back in grade school, we'd always choose stuff from "Song of Solomon" (TG's favourite book, I bet) when we were to select a bit to read or have read to us. The teacher forbade us to shoose from SoS after a certain point. I liked to read Revelations because it's so Sci-Fi.
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) - can't recall. All that Russian Lit has blurred together into one giant, tiresome memory of foot-fetishes and beating dead horses.
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) - ??You know, I don't remember for sure. I *think* so. But I don't remember. I remember starting it. And I remember the story. And I remember watching the film and knowing parts of what would come next and parts that were changed, so I *must* have. . .
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) - sounds so depressing, but I may anyhow.
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) - that loathesome Steinbeck again. I did read the last page (was it the last? with the nursing the man part?) when my shocked friend showed it to me in high school (required book in her class.)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) - people tell me it's like my childhood. I am afraid. I had a great childhood, so don't read anything into that. I think it's just the missionary part that makes them say that. But I should check.
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) - It was the best of books, it was the worst of books. Actually, it was just OK. I think it put me off Dickens but it was probably the language because this was back in High School when I had FAR more interesting things to read (like Dune.) I should try other Dickenses now that I don't mind that sort of thing.
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) - AWESOME book!!!! Another of my all-time faves.
54. Great Expectations (Dickens) - it's Dickens. See A Tale of Two Cities.
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence) - in my library basket for 6 weeks, but I was still slogging though 1,600 pages of outlander books. I'll try again.
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) - why is this here? Why aren't they together is what I want to know.
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) - I watched the mini with my mom when I was 11ish. It was intriguing and shocking to my child-self. I'd kinda like to see if the book is even better.
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) - most of it is a blur, but I remember thinking it was cool.
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger) - I'll look it up. If it's really about time travel.
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) - I think so anyway. Wasn't this the one with the dead horse?
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) - long live Howard Roark! Great story! But read this before Atlas if you're going to read them. Both her main men have the initials HR (but her husband's name was Frank) and both her female leads have the initial D.
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy) - one of those books you think you "might oughta" read just because it impresses people. ^_^
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) - Juicy.
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) - I might.
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) - heh! Who could forget Major Major Major Major? Or the LePage Glue Gun? ^_^ i want to read this one again.
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) - on my shelf (in English)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) - as a kid. Didn't "get it" though it seemed like there was meant to be something to get. Have a hunch that re-reading would produce the same result.
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) - almost bought it at a library sale for 25 cents. Have been kicking myself for not doing so ever since.
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez) - I hate cholera. And cholera shots. Ow.
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) - I have a hunch it will end badly.
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) - A few times, maybe?
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) - can't recall, but maybe.
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) - yes, and hated the author for killing Charlotte.
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck) F*ing Steinbeck. F*ing Lenny. I was traumatised.
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen) - gosh, I *think* so anyway. They're all kind of running together - the Austen's I've read, and the Austens I mean to read. Pretty sure, though. I know the story well enough.
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams) - I suspected the rabbits would all be killed.
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago) - one I actually never finished and don't intend to. It got SOOOoooooo tiresome. Same thing over and over. I saw the ending coming back at the beginning. (yes, when I got sick of it I skipped to the end to check) Ech. Why is this on the list? This is not a lasting classic. This is a flash in the pan.
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) - read it and then years later listened to the author read it (on tape) with my stepson. Fascinating, though bits of it make me sick.
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) - long, long ago
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) - loved this! Also the Mermaid Chair. My first Kidd was her nonfiction The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, which I love.
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) - of course!
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) - oh lord! The onewithnogrammarandallthewordsrunonlikethiswithnopunctuation
Oh, I'm suposed to tag folks, aren't I? How about an open invite: do it if you want to. ^_^
Sunday, April 01, 2007
I tried to find a decent picture book for the Prawn, but the sad fact is that all that seems to come out in the picture book realm these days is tripe. There are plenty of and then. . . and then. . . and then. . . books, and more than enough it was like a banana but moldy and green, I learned with surprise that the thing was my spleen books (OK, well, even that is more creative than what I saw today,) but nothing in the way of depth or beauty; nothing I could be prevailed upon to read even twice (or once!) let alone a hundred times. I know, I know, "Stop whingeing and get off your butt and make some good ones!" you say. And you're right. As much as I loathe the submission process, I need to suck it up and launch some more of my babies out there into the cold, harsh world of uncaring publishing houses once again. But the cynical side of me -- the part I try to keep locked in the small, dark compartment under my lower left rib (though this part requires, with increasing frequency, bribery in the form of chocolate and baked goods in order to stay put) -- says that this predominantly television-dependent age consists largely (though not completely) of parents who don't want picturesque and meaningful; who prefer something they can read with three quarters of their brains tied behind their backs and in the minimum possible time. I suspect that they desire books that will never present a word that calls for a moment's pause for explanation, books that are composed of trite rhymes (or almost-but-not-quite rhymes) and splashed with garish, unrealistic stick-figure drawings.
Clearly I need more chocolate.
On that note, I was looking for an appropriate dessert recipe to try today. MuNKi speculated that vanilla cupcakes might be nice, but was met by a resounding chorus of disgust. (Clearly, I've taught my children well.) So I pulled out my Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook (purchased at one of those "fill a bag for $2" library sales -- mine once beonged to "Rosemary" which I take as a good sign) and began thumbing through it for the first time. Much to my interest and amusement, I've found a Libby's label with a pumpkin pie recipe, an old strip of check stub (the kind from those big ledger-style business checks) with some ingredients listed on it, and an old (I almost said ancient, but it's not quite that) Farmington Community Library bookmark/information strip explaining the new barcode system in very comforting and reassuring terms. ("We call it the Zebra.") Section headers are printed in an amazingly nerdy computer font. Oooooohhhh! Obviously, all this is designed to disguise the fact that the system is Satanic.
I obviously got sidetracked by all that. Now I'm going to look for an actual recipe. I suppose a fool would be approriate, but I doubt that's going to happen. I'll let you know if I find anything else of interest, like recipes from the 1800s or pressed flowers/pickles/lapdogs.